Monday, August 25, 2014

Babies Got Class {Back to School 2014-2015 School Year}

It is official, the B family is back in class! Last week Belle & Peanut both were ushered off to school with our traditional Back to School Breakfast Bash. They began the very early morning (both were up and ready by 6:30...full of excitement for the day ahead) by filling out the pages of their School Years journal.

This year marks the first time Belle has listed something other than a nail tec as her career of choice. My baby girl's 3rd grade dreams include a degree in architecture  (I guess my subscription to AD paid off). And our sweet Peanut is still aspiring to be a dentist.

To mark their entrance into Kindergarten and 3rd grade, Hubby & I gifted them each with a book...Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for Belle's collection & The Day the Crayons Quit for Peanut (a must read!). To make everything come full circle, I set the table with a book theme & scribbled out a quick note on the chalkboard "Time to hit the books".  Hubby prepared a breakfast full of the little's favorites including sausage, bacon & pancakes. 

When their tummies were filled and we could wait no longer, it was time for outdoor pictures & the walk to the bus stop. I know she is my baby, but every year I am more and more blown away by how much this girl makes my heart explode.

And this lovey...his enthusiasm for the day just leaps right though the picture. We call him the sunshine of our family and this picture demonstrates it perfectly. I miss him terribly while he is away, but he is sooooo ready to go.

The whole crew....we are still working on all being ready first thing in the morning.

It was like a scene out of a movie watching these two parade down to the bus stop. Finley has blended into the family seamlessly.

And this is photo sums up how we all felt realizing Peanut & Belle wouldn't be home all day long.

While Belle's first day started off with a trip on the bus, Peanut's first day was only an hour long. At 9am he & I reported to school to meet his teacher (fabulous Mrs.P who was also Belle's teacher) & familiarize himself with the classroom.

Once we were done with Peanut's class, I picked up Lil M and head off to his Parents Day Out preview. (He was insistent upon taking his picture here against the chain link fence and despite his expression, "my kool" is all he can talk

Once everyone was back home, we celebrated the first day of school with a yummy treat courtesy of Finley. While the littles devoured cupcakes, doggie bags of pretzels & apples I read them the story Dog Days of School .

And incase you were curious, this is how Finley passed the day when he wasn't busy party planning. Have I mentioned he is the best dog ever!

So the school year 2014-2015 began on a very sweet note.
Peanut's first piano lesson.....few hours after school ended.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer Days

Today Peanut & I ducked out of the house for a few hours and acted like tourists in our city's lovely downtown. It was an unseasonably cool day so we started off with a trip to our favorite chocolate cafe for a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

With his drink in hand, Peanut requested we stroll the river. We each tried our hand at casting wishes in the fountain before checking out the paddle boats, bell tower and ducks.

We rounded out our date with a stop at the candy shop and strolled hand in hand all the way back to the  roof of the parking garage…perhaps the greatest thrill of his day.

As the last few days of summer vacation whittle away, and this sweet boy crosses into the realm of boyhood forever leaving babyhood, I am so very thankful for these few hours of alone time with him. As I type, I'm thinking we just might make this a back to school tradition…fingers crossed he'll want to stroll with is mommy downtown for years to come!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Manor Monday {Floral Delight}

Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of attending a beautiful bridal shower in honor of Hubby's cousin and his lovely fiancé. And guess what, I walked away with this stunning centerpiece.

I never win, but my birthday date was the closest to the upcoming nuptials so the bouquet was mine!!! Aren't the roses scrumptious?

Hope your week is off to a great start. We are celebrating Hubby's birthday today and hopefully putting a tummy bug that has plagued the littles to an end. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Family Friday {May Recap}

I'm beginning to wade through the mounds of photos I took over my blogging break. So over the next few weeks I'll be focusing on recapping our goings & doings from May-July in hopes to be all caught up by the time August rolls around. 

Perhaps I should have titled this post, "Better late than never".

Mother's Day

Peanut's Last Day of Pre-K

Belle's Ballet Performance

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Want It Wednesday {Acrylic Barstools}

Our current kitchen barstools are functional and practical but totally miss the mark when it comes to style. In addition, their chunky white feet cover up the beautiful moldings we added during the kitchen facelift. Thankfully, the solution  is a few keystrokes away in the form of practical yet unobtrusive ghost barstools.


Not only do they look better, but they have a smaller footprint and without a back (unlike our current stools) they can tuck completely out of the way when not in use. And since a visual always helps, what's not to love about this kitchen!?!


I would snatch up a ghost chair for the kitchen desk too, but Finely's crate is currently occupying that space. I have a feeling there will be a vacancy soon enough though, as he prefers to sleep under the kitchen table more than anywhere else. And speaking of kitchen table, I still am at a loss on what to do with the chairs and I don't want to rush the decision so the beastly chairs remain for now. Happy Wednesday everyone! I'm off to pick up the littles from an overnight with YiaYia and Bopi!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Manor Monday {Meet Finley Kipper & Our Puppy Saga}

Before I get to the breaking news, I just want to say it feels great to be back to blogging. As much as I enjoyed the break, I missed chronicling all our home/family endeavors. 

June saw several changes in our house but none bigger than the addition of a new family member. 
Finley Kipper joined our family June 29th (Hubby & my 12th anniversary) and has been a joy ever since. I have to say we are all completely smitten with our fur baby.

Belle has wanted a dog for the past 3 years and took the goal to heart this past year. Peanut followed suit and before we knew it, the two of them were routinely demonstrating responsibility (as best an 8 & 5 year old can). With little M nearly potty trained and more self sufficient, now just seemed like the opportune time.

Our initial thought was to adopt a rescue dog around 1-2 years of age. I had no interest in raising a puppy and felt there were plenty of shelter dogs that could use loving homes. So one day after swim practice, the littles and I dropped in on a local shelter and began our search. We played with all size and breeds of dogs to get a feel for the right fit for our family. A week later, we returned to the shelter to play with a sweet Terrier mix and we feel in love.

Father's day morning we adopted Shep and brought him home believing we were on the path to a long and loving relationship. Sadly, those hopes were dashed 4 days into our adoption when our veterinarian  looked at us from across the exam table and delivered the bad news that the extremely aggressive behavior Shep demonstrated was a risk to our family. News that he had only delivered one other time in all his 30 years of practice. (If you care for the nitty gritty details about what went down at the vet's office, email me). Belle & I sobbed the remainder of the afternoon as Hubby packed up Sheppy's things and returned him to the shelter.

During this whole ordeal with Shep, we did manage to meet our Fairy Dogmother. A wonderful tech from the vets office who sent us numerous emails and helped guide us in our search for the right dog.
I became a neurotic, research machine reading up on every possible breed and kept track of which traits would or would not work for our lifestyle. We decided this time around we were going to go the puppy route as younger dogs generally have fewer socialization problems. In addition, we wanted to meet both the pup's parents as they are one of the best predictors of temperament. We worked to cross all our "T's" and dot all our "I's" this time around & make sure that this puppy did not have aggressive tendencies.

After countless hours of research we settled on a mini golden doodle, which is a cross between a golden retriever and toy poodle. Generally speaking puppies from a breeder often require months of waiting but as luck would have it, the breeder had a large litter of nine and selection spots still available. We didn't tell the littles anything about the pups and instead made an appointment for 5:30 on Saturday evening to meet with the breeder and view the facilities.

As we turned onto the gravel road that lead us to a 5 acre mini golden doodle farm we told Belle & Peanut that we were going to play with some puppies and have a look around their home. This DID NOT mean that any of the puppies would be coming home with us. As the visit went on, it become clearer and clearer that Finley was everything we were looking for in a family pet. He bonded individually to each of the littles and was just the right combination of docile & feisty.

But the deal was sealed after meeting Finley's mother. Lucy is her name and she has to be the world's sweetest, red haired golden retriever. Despite the mounds of hair she shed, I would have taken her home right then & there if she was available. Alas, the breeders were just as much in love with Lucy as we were and assured us that over the years her pups have carried her loyal & lovable nature.  So with that we signed on the dotted line & Finley Kipper joined our family.

I know several readers have requested updates on how our family responds to the demands of a puppy. If you are wondering anything in particular, feel free to leave a comment below & I'll be happy to do a follow up post to answer them. For now I'll leave you with shots from Finley's first week at home.

Finley's first night home. 

Playing chase with the boys